eclipse halloween costumesPhoto: Emily and Eleanor dressed as the upcoming solar eclipse.

Halloween at NCS is a day when all of our students’ impressive artistic skills take center stage. There is something exciting to see around every corner—from the intricate murals painted by our 7th graders and the scary haunted house that is planned, constructed, and acted out by our 9th graders, to the creepy, crawly, and collaborative costumes that our students make from “90% creativity, 10% stuff.” Just as it is each Fall Term, this year’s Halloween extravaganza was an incredible event that brought everyone together during our weekly Homenight in celebration and (slightly) scary fun.

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social studies lessona social studies projecta social studies assignmenttown meeting town meetingTop: Liz helps Elizabeth with her Social Studies project. Middle 1: Lilly with her Social Studies project. Middle 2: Social Studies writing. Middle 3: The community watches a video at Town Meeting. Bottom: Caroline holds up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy flag. 

Next week is the start of National Native American Heritage month, and this week we saw two different lessons connect to and celebrate the Indigenous people of the Adirondack region—the Haudenosaunee. In 4th-grade Social Studies class, students have been studying the belief systems of the Haudenosaunee people. This week each student in the class selected a story, identified the central message of that story, and illustrated the beginning, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of their selected story in a graphic-novel-style format. 

Meanwhile, our whole school learned about the history of the Six Nations, the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Hiawatha Belt in a Town Meeting activity. Everyone gathered in the dining room to watch part of the PBS documentary Native America: Haudenosaunee’s Legendary Founding, in which members of the Haudenosaunee talk about their history. The students then looked at the Haudenosaunee Confederacy flag and learned about how the Six Nations—which include the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations—make up the oldest democracy in the world.


arts event drum lesson showing a paintingdance lesson improv activity tree sculptureTop: Oyoyo Joi speaks to the NCS community at the Arts in the Adirondacks event. Middle 1: Dian Bah teaches drumming. Middle 2: David Kanietakeron Fadden shows students his painting. Middle 3: A dance lesson at the Arts in the Adirondacks event. Middle 4: Megan Masako Haley leads an improv activity. Bottom: A tree sculpture from the Arts in the Adirondacks event. 

This past Saturday North Country School organized and hosted Arts in the Adirondacks: Amplifying Diverse Voices—a wonderful event that welcomed a wide array of artists to the Walter Breeman Performing Arts Center (WallyPAC) to run workshops and speak about their lives and work. Students and adults spent the afternoon with professional musicians, dancers, sculptors, painters, and Broadway performers, learning about the artists’ experiences and trying out their own skills in those areas before attending an open panel where they could ask the presenters questions. It was an incredible day, and we were so proud of our students for how engaged they were as they learned from our esteemed guests. Thank you so much to our visiting artists for spending time with us and sharing their  stories.

halloween costumesmuppet halloween costumeshalloween carnivalhalloween decorations
haunted househaunted houseTop: Ziggy, Abel, and Tahj dressed as “rock, paper, scissors.” Middle 1: NCS adults dressed as Muppets and Sesame Street characters. Middle 2: A carnival game at NCS Halloween. Middle 3: A mouth mural at the dining room counter. Middle 4: Jack in costume during a Haunted House dress rehearsal. Bottom: A 9th-grade Haunted House performance. 

The weeks leading up to NCS Halloween—which takes place every year on the Wednesday before October 31—are filled with joyful preparation for this always-anticipated event. Throughout the Fall Term, our 4th- through 8th-grade students have been working on their creative homemade costumes, painting decorations for the dining room, and creating carnival games. During afternoons and weekends, our 9th-grade seniors planned, wrote, and rehearsed for our annual Haunted House (which, despite the name, takes place in our campus woods). This Homenight Wednesday we finally saw the culmination of all of those efforts during a fun afternoon and evening spent celebrating the scary season. The afternoon began with a parade where everyone’s creative costumes were on full display. We then enjoyed an incredible Halloween-themed dinner prepared by our kitchen staff, complete with “eyeballs, brains, and lizard tails,” as the main course. Students attended the 8th-grade carnival, attended the Haunted House performance in groups, and ended the night with music and a light show at the WallyPAC dance. Great job, students, for your hard work in bringing this amazing event together, and happy Halloween!


students at a mountain vistastudents see snowstudents hike students eat pieTop: A group of students on Noonmark Mountain. Middle 1: The first snow of the season on Noonmark Mountain. Middle 2: Hiking up Noonmark Mountain. Bottom: Mariana and Emma eat Noon Mark Diner pie on Noonmark Mountain. 

This past weekend marked an important milestone of the academic year—the first snowfall! A Saturday hiking group took part in our annual “Noon Mark pie on Noonmark Mountain” hike, during which they encountered (and tasted) some fresh flurries. As we edge closer to November and the Thanksgiving break, fresh snowfall on our campus will likely become a common occurrence, bringing with it the start to the skiing and sledding season. 

frosty sunrise puddle jumping puddle jumpingTop: A frosty sunrise on the Garden Pasture. Middle: Higgs jumps in a puddle. Bottom: Lilly jumps in a puddle. 

Back on campus, students enjoyed the cool mornings and warmer afternoons as they participated in their pre-breakfast chores and after-class out-times. The rainy week provided the perfect opportunity for one of our favorite lighthearted activities—puddle jumping. One group donned their rain boots and visited our campus woods trails, looking for the best jumping spots to make a splash. 


farm rainbowmaking flower necklacesfarm games
making flower teacider pressTop: A rainbow at Harvest Fest. Middle 1: Trianna makes a flower garland. Middle 2: Hansen, Winnie, and Riiley play Jenga at Harvest Fest. Middle 3: Kevin and Yolanda make garden tea at Harvest Fest. Bottom: Josh, Ziggy, and Emily press apple cider at Harvest Fest. 

Fall on the farm is the time when the most—and the last—of our garden harvest is picked from our fields and stored for the cold season. Each year we enjoy that bounty and celebrate a successful year of growing during Harvest Fest. This past week our students gathered by the greenhouses and Children’s Garden for this annual event. Drizzly skies cleared and gave way to a spectacular rainbow, and we were able to enjoy the sight as we made flower garlands; played lawn games; tasted snacks that highlighted our root veggies, onions, and garlic; made fresh herbal tea; and pressed campus-grown apples into tasty cider. We ended the evening with a seasonally-fitting dinner made from NCS-grown potatoes, leeks, apples, cabbage, carrots, and herbs. Thank you farmers, thank you cooks, and thank you to everyone in attendance for making this such a special event.